The Return Chapter 23

To Ask Aid of a Foe...

By Firstborn Dragon

Zed and Boomerang nodded at each other. Lucid wined, then followed. The three were very nervous. Boomerang was caring Rudy, and Zed was leading. Lucid was following, reluctantly, behind the two. At last, they reached the statue. After the war, Tom had traveled the world repairing the Guardian statues. Even those in forsaken places, like the nearly deserted town of Saint Centaur. Zed led the others to a statue he’d seen every day he’d lived in the village. But today was the first time he’d approached it.

He looked back at the others. Boomerang, like himself, was trying to hide his fear. But he too was failing. Even more than the Elw, the Guardians scared the demons. Their power was no where as strong as that of the Guardians. Yet, the only way to save Rudy was to contact the very force they’d sought to destroy a year ago. And in a war centuries before then as well. There was little love between the two groups.

Zed took a deep breath, then approached the statue. Laura had told him the Guardian’s name. Ione Paua, the saint Guardian. Boomerang came up beside him, and laid Rudy before the statue. The two stood behind him.

Zed turned to look at Boomerang, for what may be his last time. The fear was plainly viable on both their faces, yet both tried to deny it. "I guess there’s no point in waiting any more…"

Boomerang nodded. The two turned back to the statue, and Zed began. "Ione Paua, this being needs your help… I know the demons and guardians…"

The rest of his speech was cut off, as Ione Paua emerged in front of the two. "I know you well Zed. You’re the one who’s aided Laura the past year. And you were willing to die to save her. I know you as well." He turned to Boomerang. "You are the one who took a Guardian from us during the first war. You have a lot of nerve coming back." He then turned to Lucid. "And you, the traitor to your world, you duty, and your people."

Lucid seemed to shrink back at these comments. Boomerang, and Zed were both surprised by the comments about themselves as well.

Ione Paua turned back to Zed. "Why is it that you have come?"

Zed gestured towards Rudy. "To ask you for aid in saving his life. With the gate to the Elw dimension closed, you’re his only hope of survival."

Ione Paua nodded. "I see. I would have never guessed a demon would be willing to risk his life to save a human. Yet, my power alone isn’t enough. Wait here. I shall return."

With that, Ione Paua vanished. The three were left waiting to see their fate, as well as that of Rudy’s.

The guards had been gone for over an hour, trying to discover if anyone had seen Rudy, Boomerang, Zed, or Lucid since last night. Suddenly, and officer rushed in, breathless. "My queen! A man has been found, claming to see something unusual last night. Do you wish to speak to him?"

Cecilia nodded. "Yes please."

She looked over at Jack, and shook he head. "I wish I knew who it was that told him. He’s already jumping to conclusions."

Mariel glanced at Cecilia. "But he may be right. They may have taken Rudy to gain favor with Zeikfried…"

Cecilia shook her head. "I can’t believe that. Not after what I saw, and what I heard from them. They would never harm Rudy. I’m sure of it!"

Mariel laughed. "It’s gonna sound strange, me saying this, but I hope you’re right. I can hardly believe those two are the same two who fought in the war so long ago…"

Cecilia nodded. "I know what you mean. I’d hopped that Emilia’s awakening would change Jack’s view of the demons. But it only seems to have made it worse. But then again, I can hardly blame him…"

Cecilia was cut off as the officer returned, with a man. The man appeared to be half asleep, like he’d been dragged out of bed. As soon as he realized he was standing in front of the queen, he fell to his knees. "My queen, how may I be of service?"

Cecilia looked the man over. He appeared to work in the bar, as he smelled of cheep wine, and smoke. "I hear you saw something unusual last night. Can you tell me about it?"

The man nodded. "Yes my queen. I saw two men making their way through town. It was a few hours after sunset, and the bar had just closed. I was cleaning up as they passed. One of them, the taller one, was caring a bundle over his arm. It was large. There was also a large dog following them."

Cecilia nodded. "How tall would you say they were?"

The man thought for a minute. "Well, it was really dark. But I’d say the shorter one was about his height." The man pointed at Jack. "And the taller one was just a little taller. But I could be mistaken. It was really dark my queen."

Cecilia shook her head. "That’s fine. Was their anything unusual about these two?"

The man scratched his head. "Other then the bundle? Well, then seemed kind of worried, looking over their shoulder, stopping, and listing. Good thing I had most of the lights off. Otherwise, I would have missed them."

Cecilia nodded. "And what about this bundle?"

The man looked at Jack. "Well, it was really big looking. The man seemed to have a hard time caring it. Yet he was very careful with it. At one point I saw him take a nasty fall to avoid dropping it. Must have been heavy, cause the man seemed to have a hard time with it."

Cecilia looked over at Jack, who was studding the man in front of him "One last question. Where were these two headed?"

The man waved his hand. "This is easy. Towards the gate."

Cecilia nodded. "Thank you sir. Officer, please escort this man back to his house. And see that he’s given something for his time."

"Yes my queen." The officer nodded, then lead the man out.

"I told you! I knew this would happen!" The moment the two had left the room, Jack began. "I told you those two couldn’t be trusted! The steal off with Rudy in the middle of the night. Just think how happy Zeikfried will be to see them! He’ll have absolute control over the only weapons that can stop the Forsaken. Now what?"

Cecilia shook her head. "We don’t know why the took off with Rudy. Only that they did. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it. I can’t believe that those two would turn around and betray Rudy after he saved their lives."

Jack stood up. "Fine! Believe what you want! But I’m going after them. And when I find them, those two will regret even having been born!"

Jack stormed out of the room. Cecilia shook her head. "What if he’s right? What if they have betrayed us…?"

Mariel shook her head. "I can’t believe they would. Or, I can’t believe Zed would. No after what he did for me. I can’t see Zeikfried forgiving him after Zed stopped him from killing me."

Cecilia nodded. "That makes two of us. But, then where did they go?"


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